- Creativity/Originality = 8
- Lyrical Content = 8.5
- Production = 7.5
- Song Selection = 8
- My Recommendation = 7.542 (12 song average)
Highlighting songwriters is something I will do as long as I continue writing this blog. This week’s album review spotlights singer/songwriter Michael Wayne Smith. I became introduced to Michael’s music via radio and the song “Everything’s Fine”. Found on his 2008 album Welcome Home, this song was one of my favorite radio songs in 2010.
This album review spotlights Michael Wayne Smith’s 2011 recording The Days Ahead. Michael has a country sound to his music and a few selections found on The Days Ahead even have a ’80s pop feel to them.
The stand out track is the current radio single “Until The Storm Is Over”. The acoustical version contained at the end of the album trumps the version heard at radio. Readers of this blog know of my health issues back in the spring. This song came out at a perfect time for me personally. The first time I heard this song it was though Michael wrote this song specifically for me. It is a personal favorite of mine of all songs released in 2011. It was a prayer I said many days, …’But Until The Storm Is Over, I Need You Lord To Come And Help Me Stand’.
Another strong contender for best song on the album is “When The Blood Was Applied”. This is a perfect fit for Southern Gospel radio. It covers everything lyrically any good Southern Gospel song should contain. Being a ’80s kid, I also enjoyed the ’80s pop vibe found on “Why Should I Worry” and “Still Find Peace”.
Other highlights include “Come To The River”, “I Just Wanna Go Home” and “I Will Give You Grace”.
Michael has a pleasant vocal tone that is only enhanced when interpreting his own compositions. The passion for his music comes across to the listener. As with any solo artist, the down side is vocal variation. By the end of the recording the songs can begin sounding the same as a result of hearing the same voice throughout the entire recording. It is a problem you get with any solo artist.
As was the case with the Roy Knight Singers review last week, I enjoy hearing songwriters interpret their own compositions. Michael Wayne Smith is a name many are currently not familiar with. If he continues writing the caliber of songs he is currently recording, he may not become a house hold name in Southern Gospel music as a solo artist, but he will for his songwriting. If you’re looking for a change of pace from the ordinary Southern Gospel album, check out The Days Ahead by Michael Wayne Smith.
SONG LIST: 1. “Come To The River” 2. “My Song To You” 3. “Sometimes God Burns Your Bridges” 4. “Until The Storm Is Over” 5. “I Just Wanna Go Home” 6. “Why Should I Worry” 7. “When The Blood Was Applied” 8. “Home To You” 9. “I Will Give You Grace” 10. “Run To Jesus” 11. “Still Find Peace” 12. “Only You Can Love Me This Way” 13. “Until The Storm Is Over (Acoustical)”